New research links life balance and sports performance

By Jim on Monday, May 3, 2010

The Athlete Career and Education program supports more than 3000 elite athleThedodtthreeees across Australia each year in managing their education, work and sportsTh performance.

The Thing that I found when I devoted my whole life to my paddling, was there were times where I would go stale and lose focus on what I wanted to achieve.

I found that when I got myself into some sort of work or an activity that I could focus on helped me paddle. It was a good thing to stop focusing 100% on the paddling. You just can’t focus on it 100% 24/7, you will find that the more you focus on the sport the more people you find in your set of friends and all they want to do is talk about paddling. This is great but sometimes it can become just too much, then leading to you doing some average training sessions.

So by finding a job or study helps you focus on something else, then you come to training with a fresh out look and find it easier to focus on the training session you have.

Read this study.

Sporting performance may be boosted by a well-balanced lifestyle combining work, study and training, according to the preliminary findings of a new study of Australian elite athletes.

The National Athlete Career and Education (ACE) program and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) ACE program recently conducted a survey of 143 AIS athletes on their attitudes and approaches to sport, study and other activities.

NACE program acting manager Dr Nathan Price said preliminary findings of the study suggest sport–life balance has a positive effect on an athlete’s performance and longevity in their sport.

‘More than 90 per cent of athletes surveyed indicated they believed that actively engaging in non-sporting pursuits helped to lengthen their sporting career,’ Dr Price said.

‘Of those athletes that were studying or working, 72 per cent believed that their sporting performance benefited from them undertaking education or employment, while only 13 per cent believed that their sporting performance suffered as a result of participation in education and employment.

‘The findings show that many AIS athletes are highly motivated and driven through their attitude and approach to education, work and other pursuits, which translates to enhancing their sporting performance.’

Responses from AIS athlete to questions about a balanced lifestyle included:

  • ‘[Education] puts sport in perspective, [it] facilitates lateral thinking and independence [and] increased self-esteem.’
  • ‘I feel that I am achieving things outside of my sport and in that way I put less pressure on myself in my sport.’
  • ‘It gives me the ability to be a whole person and I am able to focus on different aspects of my life. Therefore I do not burn out or over focus and lose sight of the big picture.’

The Athlete Career Education program supports more than 3000 elite athletes across Australia each year in managing their education, work and sports performance, as well as preparing them for life after sport.

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